Residents of Magodo Government Reserved Area (GRA) Phase II also known as Magodo Residents Association (MRA) have called on the Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, to call the State’s Commissioner for Physical Planning, Dr. Oluyinka Olumide, to order for aiding and abetting land speculators, known as ‘Omo Onile’, to invade and carry out nefarious activities in the estate.
Speaking at a press conference on Thursday in Lagos, the residents of the Magodo GRA Phase II said the development of the wetlands, which extend from Agiliti, Mile 12 to Ikorodu Road, will not only have devastating environmental impact on Magodo and environs but also affect Ikeja, Agidingbi and environs.
The aggrieved residents, who brandished placards with inscriptions like; “Mr. Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu We Plead, No Access To Wetland through Magodo GRA Phase II”, “Save Our Properties From Flooding”, “Don’t Destroy Our Ecosystem”, “Magodo GRA Phase II Is Under Security Threat With Access to the Wetlands through the Estate”, “Save Magodo From Gully Erosion”, among others, lamented that certain Lagos State government officials were backing the notorious ‘Omo Onile’in to pull down the fence that they built to protect the estate.
The chairman of MRA, Engr. Sheriff Daramola, explained at the press conference that, “Access to the wetland through Magodo Phase II for development purposes will complicate the already flooded areas like Agiliti, Owode Elede, Kosofe, etc. It will increase the tonnage of vehicles plying the ready fragile road infrastructure.”
He said it will create insecurity to the state government’s valuable institutions in the estate and also subject the foundation of existing buildings in the estate along that corridor of the proposed roads to threat of imminent collapse.
“We believe that distorting the wetlands that hitherto offered natural ecological balance is not advisable but understand that the government in its wisdom is at liberty to do as it wishes. However, this should not be done at the expense of the greater percentage of the citizens just for the pecuniary gains of a few and that exactly is what accessing the wetland by building link roads through Magodo Phase II estate will be.
“We demand and plead to Mr. Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu that the Lagos State government to please desist from its plans to build link roads to the wetlands through Magodo Phase II estate but instead construct a road from the Otedola underpass which is currently free of development and unencumbered; this will put nobody or interest under needless stress and danger if she so wishes to access the wetlands.
“The Estate is allowed to reinstate the perimeter wall to shield her residents and their property from the devastation listed above.
“The Lagos State government, where it insists on developing the wetlands, does not access it through Magodo GRA Phase II and not to, please, do anything that will be detrimental to the safety, security and quality of life of Magodo Phase II residents.”
On his part, a resident and journalist, Mojeed Jamiu, explained that the state government had given them a go-ahead to construct the perimeter fence to protect properties and lives of residents of the area.
He further explained that after completion, the residents association had informed the Commissioner for Physical Planning and days after officially informing the ministry, men from the ministry accompanied by Omo Onile and armed policemen came to pull down the fence.
“The Physical Planning Commissioner, Dr Olayinka Olumide, is messing up the progressive activities of the governor and he (governor) needs to call him to order as he is aiding the Omo Onile. Aside this, the Commissioner of Environment, Mr. Tokunbo Wahab, is trying to protect the wetland but the Physical Planning Commissioner is trying to destroy the works that have been done so far by previous and present governments. Governor Sanwo-Olu needs to clear the air on the conflict in his cabinet,” Jamiu stated.
On his part, a former Commissioner for Physical Planning in the state, Fransisco Abosede, stressed that the masterplan of Lagos does not allow for the development of the wetlands as the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) had shown the devastating impact the development of the wetlands would have on the state.